Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

ecarson's blog

The Selection of Truth: Where Everything is Possible‏

Keith Maillard and I recently were discussing the process of editing and somehow we arrived at a point in the conversation where we talked about the notion of truth, and just how much is too much or two little to say. In the middle of that tributary he said, "If the truth I told in a manuscript included "everything", you wouldn't want to read it". I quite liked that statement, and later we exchanged the following emails.

This Way Out (Three Portraits)

I'm sitting at my desk with three postcard pictures of authors whose work I've never tired of reading, authors who in poetry and prose continue to inspire me. Though I've read them many times, I keep finding something new at every turn.

Writing on the Wall (Places of Knowledge & Creativity)

The digital world is full of educational experiences. People who wish to learn can now much more easily acquire a lot of the skills and knowledge they need in order to effectively translate what they've learned into practical workplace applications as well as pleasing educational or creative experiences.

Lost & Found (An Opening Chapter)

Lost & Found

Chapter One

London ● February 2003

The first time David rolled over and opened his eyes, he couldn’t remember the dream. He could sense that he’d just been having the dream, and did everything he could in his power to will it back, but with his every breath its details seemed to slip further away. He was left with that feeling of having left something behind, of something not quite remembered that still was close by, but he didn’t quite know where or how to reach it.

What is Influency Salon? (Diving into Poetry at:

For everyone who loves poetry (who doesn’t?), and anyone who is always on the alert for what’s new, interesting and challenging in the craft . . . look no further than a brand new, innovative website dedicated entirely to the craft. It’s called “Influency Salon – Engaging conversations with Contemporary Canadian Poetry” and can be found at:

A Poem Knows Where it's Going (Walking with Words)

I believe that a poem knows where it’s going, often before I do, and well before it has arrived fully formed with its journey complete. There’s nothing particularly mystical about this; it merely reflects the notion that communications in all forms are shared and shaped as much by the nature and flow of the language we use as they are by the form and content we wish to impart.

Political Actors & Shape-Shifters (History in the Making)

It’s hard to believe there can be anyone left in Canada who still might actually believe anything Stephen Harper has to say about a blueprint for balancing the country’s inexcusably massive deficit. Conservatives will desperately want us to believe in their fiscal credentials and alchemy, but history tells a different story.

The Harper/Flaherty “stewardship” of the economy has been nothing short of disastrous, built upon a recorded history of fiscal blunders with the GST, willfully ignoring the signs of the coming recession, bizarre "no-deficit-at-any-cost" forecasts of surpluses, followed by a succession of repeated and wildly inaccurate monthly guesses over the past years about an ever-expanding deficit.

Photography as Nonfiction (What the Pictures Really Say)

Photography is the nonfiction of the visual arts, something of a cousin in the art world to the fraternal twins of realism and abstraction. Digital photography will completely transform and reframe this relationship. What we are witnessing today is the birth of an entirely new art form, one already challenging our understanding of reality and the form it presents to our senses.

The metaphysics of how art and philosophy can best apprehend the “real world” has been with us since well before the dueling philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. But go back far enough, and any fine differences between a thing and its image become less apparent, part of a sacred or mysterious connection in which the image fully partakes in the reality of the thing portrayed.



This bird in the snow, illusion of content, luminously
arriving late in the day, here staring into the cold sky,

now, curving away, drawn to a background of detail.
What are we to solve in this? Are we to understand

what is seen or known, what fills the frantic eye
or empties the empty space, the bottomless sky?

This landscape caught emerging, the appearance
of meaning turned on its head, manifest realities

making mischief of our thinking. All of these are
ways of seeing the beginning of change, the other,

yet hardly noticing, looming up in front of us, elusive,
full of mysteries, the constellations we can hardly bear.

The Shape of Things Taking Shape (How Birds Flock Fish School)‏

In the 1970s, I had the good fortune of taking a course in modern poetry from Marshall McLuhan. For the first three months we all waited patiently, but he never even looked at a poem. Instead, we learned about Ciceronian rhetoric, in particular its five parts: inventio, dispositio, elecutio, memoria, and actio.

Syndicate content